Saturday, April 30, 2016

spring concert

The arts program at River Falls Public Middle School didn't disappoint on Thursday evening. We were there to watch a handsome 8th grader in the Select Choir and Madrigals, but the entire evening was really enjoyable. The 8th grade Jazz band was especially outstanding. I LOVE THAT WE HAVE ARTS OPPORTUNITIES FOR OUR KIDS! Yeah MMS!

Thursday, April 28, 2016

prom girl

Ok, one last Liana post...

Here she is at prom. So lovely.

ffa small animals

Liana in the news again!

After hours of practice, hundreds of pages of study material, early mornings and late afternoons,
unforgettable memories, and hard work, our team has finally reached its goal of winning State FFA for Small Animals! But we are still struggling with taking a normal team picture😂I love my FFAmily!


Another tragedy has rocked southern Minnesota this week with a young man losing his life. I don't know the circumstances, but my dear brother Kurt said it so well...

Yesterday marked the day that two years ago we lost our good friend Larry Spitzner. Two days previous to that anniversary, we lost his son John. We are all shocked, stunned and shaken. As we attempt to help by muddling through chores, we know there is no way to repay this family for all that they mean to so many people. Both Larry and John would drop what they were doing to help a friend or neighbor in a time of need, I've witnessed it many times. As countless people gather at the farm these past few days and as we gather for the visitation and funeral, it makes me realize this family epitomizes 'community' better than anyone I know. May God's peace and strength continue to comfort them.

steve w.

So my friend, Joanna who had the Prince poster and introduced me to the music legend is the daughter of two very kind and generous people. Steve and Carol Wentzlaff. I just found out that Steve was involved in a very serious farm accident this past week. Prayers to the entire Wentzlaff clan as Steve recovers. 

Thinking of you, Joanna Carol!

This is from a google search in Steve from KEYC:

A Butterfield man suffers life threatening injuries from a farm accident in Watonwan County Tuesday afternoon.

The Watonwan County Sheriff's Office says authorities were called to a site in Long Lake Township just after 3:00 p.m.
68-year-old Steven Wentzlaff was trying to get out of a truck when we fell into backwards into a substance known as corn chaff or bees wings.
He was taken by ambulance to MCHS - St. James then air lifted to Mayo in Mankato.
No word on the extent of his injures.
St. James Fire Department and Ambulance assisted at the scene.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016


Sunday was rainday and a great day to run!

little man improved his time from 2:05 last week to 2:02 this week--that is in the quarter mile

big girl improved her time from 8:21 last week to 8:02 this week--that is in the miler.

FUN times.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

birthday party

O was invited to a classmate's birthday party this morning at the Giggle Factory in Hudson. I managed to book the same establishment for his 6th birthday party on May 22. I can't believe our little man is going to be 6!

bonding time with friends

Last night, I was able to spend some time with my River Falls girlfriends, Sharyl and Sarah. They have been friends since our sweet little children (who are now 14) entered Kindergarten in 2007. We met at Juniors and then traveled down the street to Mainstreeter. Nice conversation and catching up. Our children have all branched in different directions, but I truly believe we can sustain our friendship.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

lets get crazy

Prince Rogers Nelson passed away this morning at the age of 57. I will never forget the first time I saw his picture/heard of him. My best friend, Joanna Wentzlaff had his poster in her bedroom. He was a scrawny chested black man wearing a speedo. Joanna couldn't believe how beautiful he was--I was a bit mystified--that is until I heard his music. Purple Rain, Little Red Corvette, Darling Nikki, Let's Go Crazy, 1999...

Prince is an incredible icon who was a pioneer in the music industry. The world is mourning the passing of Prince Rogers Nelson today--I am deciding to celebrate an artist who will forever touch my musical life.

this is a copy of the picture that Joanna had on her wall. The first image I had of Prince; glad it wasn't the only one.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

class of 2016

Ross Blomgren remembered at B-OPS with personalized bench, plaque

ROSS BLOMGREN (APRIL 2, 1998-December 13, 2014)

The loss – far too soon – of a child, grandchild, close family member – friend – is heartbreaking and emotionally difficult from which to recover.
Holding close the memories of the one lost can help bridge that valley of grief. This support can be found in photographs, audio or video recordings, stories and accounts – as well as in something real, something tangible that can be seen and touched; through which a continuing connection is experienced.
Under the guidance of Butterfield-Odin Public High School (B-OHS) English teacher Dawn Johnson, the senior class at the school recently commissioned and planned a personalized Memorial Bench in order to create a lasting memory of their late classmate, Ross Isaac Blomgren.
Jeremy Hall of Hall Welding Shop of Butterfield fabricated and designed the permanent memorial.
The designs on the bench join together important pieces from Ross’s life, including – his participation in 4-H and  in the organization’s Arts-In at the state level, love of vocal and instrumental music that spanned the generations with his role as a member of the Windom Area Chordhustlers, football and baseball participation, love of Legos and Star Warshis lead role as Peter Pan from the musical, Peter Pan, performed onstage at B-OHS in spring 2014 when he was a sophomore – and his faith that molded him into the sterling young man he was. The bench paint features a mix of the class colors of royal blue and white – blended colors that sparkle in the sunshine – as Ross himself, sparkled in his own life.
Inside the school, in the lobby next to the gymnasium, a plaque also remembers the late Butterfield-Odin Public School (B-OPS) student. The plaque, which includes Ross’s final school photo, was created by Fairmont Awards.
To raises funds for the bench and plaque memorials, class members sold T-shirts and wristbands dedicated to Ross’s memory.
Ross was just 16-years-old when he was killed in an automobile accident on December 13, 2014, not quite halfway through this junior year in high school. Grieving, but celebrating his life are his parents, Kelly Hanson and Kurt Blomgren; his older siblings, Jenna, Vance and Stuart; his stepfather, Brad Hanson and stepbrothers, Dylan Hanson and Dayton Hanson.
Five seniors integral in the organizing of the Memorial Bench included class officers Hayley Johnson, Mackenzie Blickem and Michelle Perez, along with friends Derek Meyer and Julia Hiebert, who was in the vehicle at the time of the accident and was seriously injured.
All 19 members of the Class of 2016 were proud to call Ross a classmate, and beyond that, a friend.
Hayley, Mackenzie, Michelle, Derek and Julia were able to quickly and easily provide additional one-word descriptive adjectives of their classmate and friend:
Hayley, senior class president, who had known Ross since kindergarten shared that, “Kind,” was the first word that came to her mind.
Another class officer, Michelle, whose friendship with Ross dated back to day care, used “Comical,” as her word for her upbeat classmate.
Mackenzie, a third class officer, who first met Ross in third grade, focused on another positive aspect of Ross’s personality, “Caring.”
For Derek, also a classmate since kindergarten, “Goofy,” was the guy he knew as a friend.
Julia, who was a freshman when she first met Ross, and was in the car at the time of the accident, used the adjective, “Happy. Yes. Happy. Always.”
Since the day of the accident, Ross’s empty chair in classrooms and at concerts has been a part of class reflection. Graduation will include bittersweet memories of the young man with the positively strong personality that is a missing member of the class family.
Though there remains that emptiness feeling in class photos, the Class of 2016 now has a Memorial Bench – firmly anchored in front of the school, as well the plaque in the lobby – as permanent reminders of the uplifting role Ross played in their lives.
Just as Peter Pan – from the tale of the boy who had a never-ending childhood and was able to fly across the sky – so, too, the stories of Ross will continue to fly high through all those he touched during his short time on this earth.
And, the bench in his memory, along with the memorial plaque, will allow his spirit to remain relevant for generations to come.

ross blomgren bench
A PRIVATE UNVEILING of the bench and plaque for the parents of Ross Blomgren, Kelly Hanson and Kurt Blomgren – as well as the members of the Class of 2016, of which Ross was a member – was held on Friday afternoon, April 8. Pictured with the bench are, front, from left, Dylan Hovdet, Kelly Hanson, Haley Kaehler, Dayana Rodriguez, Elizabeth Fuglsang, Michelle Perez, Jennifer Oveido, Alex Cowell and Shanon Bratland. Middle, from left, Austin Heffele, Mackenzie Blickem, Julia Hiebert, Hayley Johnson, Gabby Kruchek and Kurt Blomgren. Back, from left, Gage Bolte, Paul Hanson, Nikkia Clipperton, Derek Meyer, Roger Fast and Wong Lee. The 19 members of the senior class are wearing their class T-shirts emblazoned with, “We’re kind of a big deal. ’16.” (Submitted photo)

ross 2
THE MEMORIAL BENCH commissioned and designed by the Class of 2016 in memory of their classmate, Ross Isaac Blomgren, who was killed in an automobile accident on December 13, 2014. The bench, made by Jeremy Hall of Hall Welding Shop of Butterfield, joins together important pieces from Ross’s life, including – his participation in 4-H and  in the organization’s Arts-In at the state level, love of vocal and instrumental music that spanned the generations with his role as a member of the Windom Area Chordhustlers, football and baseball participation, love of Legos and Star Wars, his lead role as Peter Pan from the musical, “Peter Pan,” performed onstage at B-OHS in spring 2014 when he was a sophomore – and his faith that molded him into the sterling young man he was. The bench paint features a mix of the class colors of royal blue and white – blended colors that sparkle in the sunshine – as Ross himself, sparkled in his own life.

ross 1
PERMANENT PLAQUE HONORING the too-short life of Ross Isaac Blomgren placed in the lobby of the Butterfield-Odin Public School gymnasium by his classmates from the Class of 2016. The plaque was created by Fairmont Awards.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

running running running

On Sunday afternoon, K and O participated in a running series called Healthy Kids Running Series. Our 4th grader ran a mile and our Kindergarten kiddo ran a 1/4 mile. Both looked great and had a blast. O wanted to run another 1/4 and K was done at the mile. Their next race is next Sunday. There are a total of 5 races.

A had his first track meet on Monday and threw shot put, did the long jump and unfortunately didn't hear the announcement for the 400...hopefully he will get a chance to run that next time. Judging on his body type, I think he may have a good race.

Sunday, April 17, 2016


Joan just posted photos of her wedding 23 years ago today...doesn't seem possible. Happy Anniversary Cory and Joan and wishing you a lifetime and beyond of love and happiness.

girl in science

On Saturday, over lovely KGO attended the Girls in Science event at UW River Falls campus.
Here is an event description from the UWRF site:

The University of Wisconsin-River Falls will host a Girls in SCIENCE: Seeing, Creating, Inventing, Exploring, Naming, Cooperating, and Experimenting event on campus Saturday, April 16. The program aims to encourage and promote girls' full participation in a wide range of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) fields.

Participants will meet scientists, professors, and UWRF students while cycling through several 40-minute fun, engaging activities. Morning topics will include astronomy and a planetarium show, chemistry, ecology and environmental studies, and DNA extraction. Afternoon topics will include computer science, aviation, biology and medicine, forensic science, and physics.

She attended the afternoon session and enjoyed the biology and medicine and forensic science stations the most. It was a beautiful day to be a scientist!

Saturday, April 16, 2016

laundry on the line

I'm hanging laundry on the line for the 2nd time this year today. I've already been to Body Pump, Brad and A are at Trap, K is still sleeping on the couch and O is watching Netflix. When I'm done writing, I will write my class newsletter and do some more laundry. I think its going to be a great day!


Our daffodils just started blooming on Friday, April 15! Such a lovely sight!


On Thursday, K hosted her friend Lilly for a sleepover. Brad made pizza and the girls pretty much played outside and hung out in K's bedroom. It was fun to have a friend over--first friend sleepover in her new room.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

here comes the sun...and the wasps

The sun shone all day today! I rode to school with my long North Face coat, went outside at lunch to collect sticks for an art project and it was AMAZINGLY beautiful! In the afternoon, two wasps invaded our classroom. With two allergic kids, it was a little tough to take, but it sure was nice to soak in the sun.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

greenwood 4th and 5th grade concert

The Greenwood Elementary 4-5 concert was really entertaining. I was watching a sweet daughter the entire performance.

House Party
It's in the Bag
Doctor Bag
Seven Bridges Road
The Cup Song
Fight Song
Get Up and Dance

Thanks to Ms. Lion's and the talented kiddos of Greenwood Elementary!

family history

Bud is really good at sharing family history with us. Here is a wedding announcements/gift list for a wedding back in 1895 of his Grandma Grout:


            Married at the home of the bride’s parents, Nov. 25th, 1895, by Rev. Wilbur Fisk,
            Mr. Willard F. Coon and Susie E. Wells.  After the ceremony had been performed
            the bride and groom and about eighty guests were invited to a sumptuous supper.
            There was a fine lot of presents given as follows:
                        W. Wells and Aug Biedenman – extension table.
                        D. Horning, Luella, Rosella and George Horning – large rocking chair.
                        Mr. and Mrs. Frank Tellett – rocking chair.
                        Mr. and Mrs. C. Auty – chair.
                        Richard Biedeman – rocking chair.
                        Milo and Edna Coon – half dozen chairs.
                        Mr. and Mrs. C.R. Lord – center table; scarf
                        Mr. and Mrs. Geo. Miller – bread, cake and paring knife.
                        Fred Coon – pair of towels
                        Mr. and Mrs. W.H. Coon – pair of towels.
                        Mrs. Marah Wells – one dozen napkins.
                        J.U. Gibson – table cloth.
                        Mrs. Maggie Wells – table cloth.
                        Mr. and Mrs. R.O. Peterson – table cloth.
                        Mrs. Bee – table spread.
                        Mr. and Mrs. O.S. Gillmore – bed spread.
                        Mr. and Mrs. John Ferguson – be spread.
                        Geo. Stoddard – table cloth.
                        Miss Dora Bee – table cloth.
                        Mr. and Mrs. W.H. Coon – pair table cloths.
                        Johnnie Brown – paper holder.
                        Johnnie Bogue – paper holder.
                        Mr. and Mrs. Jule Bogue – set glass dishes.
                        Elden Bee – three bowls.
                        Mr. and Mrs. Harry Curtiss – wash bowl and pitcher.
                        John Stoddard – water pitcher.
                        Frankie Tallett – salt dish.
                        Miss Maggie Wells – pocket book.
                        Miss Emma Olson – set of pie plates.
                        Miss Mabel Auty – chees plate.
                        Miss Jessie Hutchins – mustard dish.
                        Mr. and Mrs. C. Elliott – silver pickle dish.
                        Mr. and Mrs. W.L. Hutchins – silver cake dish.
                        Hans Hansen – set silver knives and forks.
                        Jno and Hannah Carlston – silver plated lamp.
                        Will Cook – china lamp.
                        Walter Wells – broom.
                        Miss Sadie Bee – sugar bowl.
                        Francis and Grover Horning – picture.
                        Mr. and Mrs. Henry King – two dollars.
                        Mr. and Mrs. Geo. Miller – set glass dishes.
                        Mr. and Mrs. J. Melder – dozen cups, sauces and sauce dishes.
                        Mr. and Mrs. Geo. P. Lattin – table spread.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

blue grass festival

On Saturday morning, we got the opportunity to visit with Grandma and Grandpa B who came up for the play on Friday night. We swam at the hotel and then went out to eat at the golden arches. When we were done with that we went home and did a little around the house and then headed downtown to watch the Blue Grass Festival. We saw some great songwriters in a competition and watched a very talented group get whittled down to five. It was extremely entertaining.

After that, Brad headed to Minneapolis to help Stuart celebrate his bachelor party. The kids and I stayed home and rented a couple of RedBox movies. It was a lovely day.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

czech funeral

Celebrating the life of Wencel (Jim) Kubes was pretty incredible yesterday...we heard a beautiful choir singing in either Czech or Latin and participated in high mass. Randy gave a lovely tribute to his father. A meal was provided afterward at the KC hall and we ate Kolatchy and many yummy casseroles.

Jim was a beautiful person who valued working hard and building relationships. He has left quite a legacy.


It was just as I suspected...incredible performance by 65 pre-teens/teens at the Meyer Middle School musical on Thursday and Friday night. The Cat in Hat was my personal favorite but all the kids did an outstanding job in their performance.  I wish the show could go on!

long time friends celebrating a wonderful performance

Horton, Mayor and the Cat in the Hat

Gertrude, Mayor's wife, Cat, Maisy, Sour Kangaroo and joey

Thursday, April 7, 2016

eagerly awaiting the show

Tonight our eldest son will be performing in the MMS Musical as Cat in the Hat. We are so excited for show!

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

chilly ville

It is quite chilly today...I rode my bike in beautiful sunshine and ended up traveling home on a bit of a wet seat and under overcast skies. The current temperature is 34 degrees.

dappa for life

I finally finished my Maud Hart Lovelace re-read (a bi-annual event) so I'm again book shopping. A book that I received as a teacher in the VI is called Life in the Left Lane--an introduction to life in St. Croix or Santa Cruz as Christopher Columbus first called it.

Reading the story really makes me remember the lovely aspects of living in the tropics and motivates me to plan a return trip in the next few years. It would be delightful to return when O can actually remember the trip and remember what Armstrong's ice cream tastes like, feel how the no-see-ums come out right at sunset, hear the crashing of the waves on the north shore, see the sunrise at Udall or the green flash in Fredrikstad, smell the night blooming Jasmine...St. Croix you're calling me.

Monday, April 4, 2016


Yesterday afternoon we got a change to do some play at the TriAngels playground and take a little hike by the Kinnickinnic. I love spending time with the kids--some great memories to be made!

I think it's fun that K dressed for summer and O dressed for winter. I was somewhere in between and wished I would have been dressed like O...

Sunday, April 3, 2016

happy birthday dear Joan!

Dear Joan Lee Blomgren--wishing you a blessed year and beyond.
with auntie Loie and cousin Trudy at Kye and Stuart's shower.


Yesterday was a special day in that it was the anniversary of Ross Isaac's birth. As we were driving to Eau Claire, O asked if I remembered Ross and said that Ross was a really great guy. I'm not sure what made him think of his look alike cousin, but it touched my heart with a smile.

My dear brother and his children/their significant others celebrated Ross' life yesterday. Here is an update:

Thank you to everyone for their thoughtful birthday greetings for Ross's 18th birthday yesterday. It was very memorable for our family. Starting with a gift from his favorite teacher Mr. Stade of a customized picture frame, to watching "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" at the Orpheum, to having supper at Ross's favorite restaurant and finally watching the band "Tank" perform at the fairgrounds. The musicians even shared a few songs written for Ross. It was a very special day dedicated to a super special person. God bless you all!





After our morning in Eau Claire, we drove over to Turtle Lake, WI where our friends, the Bonds were hosting a trap shoot day and dinner. I shot trap for the first time in my life and had a great time with wonderful people. The evening finished with a lovely bonfire and a journey home where all three kids were fast asleep.

state honor choir

On Saturday morning, the kids and I drove to Eau Claire, bought Anders some new size 12 track shoes and drove him to Northstar Middle School where he auditioned as a bass for the Wisconsins State Middle Level Honor Choir. We should hear the results in early June as they will be traveling throughout the state listening to young musicians.

If he is chosen, he will be attending a clinic and performing in a concert October 28-29 in Madison.

How exciting!

child as a guide

On Thursday evening, our school hosted Child as a Guide night. O lead Brad through the classroom and showed him the Brown Stair, Spindle Boxes and decimal tray.

In my classroom children showed lessons on math, geography, geometry and history. It was a wonderful evening. After all was said and done, Brad and I went out for Chinese and enjoyed time together.

relay for life

Friday night, the two youngest and I went to the River Falls Relay for Life. It wasn't as large as I remember from previous years but it was still super fun. K loved playing basketball and O loved doing tumbling.

Here is a photo of basketball:

I miss my friend Pam who died this year and was mentioned in the program. I also hope that Tammy Pitzen wages a strong war on the dreaded kidney cancer that she recently battled.

the whistle in heaven

On Tuesday morning, I got to school and found my phone filled with messages and texts. The dear Kim Blomgren had left a message that she was with her father at Abbott. I texted her back to let her know that I was praying. She immediately called and let me know that her wonderful papa was now in heaven. I started to cry because of the shock but then realized that Jim is in a wonderful place. A place where he is greeted by many loved ones and that he will prepare for the many people whom he loves that will join him someday.

Here is his obituary:

Wencel Joseph Kubes, Age 81 of New Prague, died peacefully at Abbott Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis, Tuesday, March 29, 2016 surrounded by family. Visitation will be held on Thursday, April 7, 2016 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Bruzek Funeral Home in New Prague with Knights of Columbus prayer service at 3:45 p.m. Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Friday, April 8, 2016 at 11 a.m. at St. Wenceslaus Catholic Church in New Prague with Father Kevin Clinton officiating with visitation two hours prior at the funeral home. Burial will be held in St. Wenceslaus Church Cemetery.
Wencel was born on March 11, 1935 in Helena Township in Scott County to Wenceslaus and Anna (Simon) Kubes. He was united in marriage to Patricia Kelash in Crystal, MN on September 18, 1962.
Wencel was a farmer most of his life. After retirement he drove bus for the Scott County Transit. He was a member of the Knights of Columbus 3rd and 4th degree of New Prague. Wencel enjoyed his family, dancing, visiting, playing cards, whistling and giving hayrides. He touched the hearts of everyone he met.
Wencel is survived by his wife, Patricia of New Prague; Children, Wencel Kubes and special friend (Anne Thurston) of New Prague, Patrice Kubes of Shakopee, Randy (Lisa) Kubes of Shakopee, Kim (Kyle) Blomgren of Butterfield, Chris Kubes of New Prague, Gloria (Tim) Flicek of New Prague, Victoria Kubes and special friend (Josh Svoboda) of Prior Lake; grandchildren, Wencel Trenton and Tatum Kubes, Anna, Joey and Sarah Kubes, Kyle Jr., Adam, Liana and Ryan Blomgren, Jimmy and Eddie Kubes, and Charlie and John Flicek; siblings; Bernadine Svoboda of New Prague, and Wally (Jeanne) Kubes; brothers-in-law, Lawrence Schoenbauer, and Clarence Smisek; Sisters-in-law, Mary Jo Kubes all of New Prague, and Mary Lou Kubes of Arizona.
Wencel is preceded in death by his parents; sisters, Janice Smisek, Eugenia Ziskovsky, Mae Ann Schoenbauer, and Carol Kubes; brothers, Arnold Kubes, John Kubes in infancy, and Wayne Kubes; in-laws, Raymond Ziskovsky and Bill Svoboda.

Military honors will be provided by the New Prague Area Honor Guard.

swimming in Lindstrom

Last night, Osten, Brad and I drove to Lindstrom, Minnesota to see the River Falls Wildcats face Spring Lake Park and the Wildcats of Chisag...